I sell "gently used" sterling flatware and I obviously write articles about silver. In both these endeavors, I've encountered many, many mothers and grandmothers who have said something like this to me, "I'm collecting sterling flatware for my daughters (or granddaughters). They don't care anything about it now but I hope they will some day."
This tells me that there out are lot of mothers and grandmothers out there who really love sterling flatware. If that's true for your mother or grandmother, consider giving them something they really like. If you can find that missing serving piece she's been searching for or if you can replace that teaspoon mangled by the garbage disposal, I guarantee she will love it.
You don't have to spend a lot of money nor do you have to spend a lot of time searching. Just search on the pattern name and the word, "sterling", on the Internet. You'll probably get lots of hits. Some will be websites of companies that specialize in used sterling. Their prices will be less than new pieces but still could be high. So, try searching eBay as well.
Here are some suggestions:
- If you can determine what pieces are needed without giving away your plan, do so.
- Check lengths of things like dinner forks and knives since most patterns include multiple lengths , widths and weights.
- Make sure the pieces you are buying do not have monograms (unless you want that).
- Make sure your seller offers a full refund policy just in case something is not right.
- Make sure the seller can ship in a timely manner.
If this is a good thing for you to do, the time is NOW. Mother's Day is ten days away!